Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:48 pm
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. .."
I would definitely refer someone to clergy for a 5th step. First, that's the instruction/suggestion in the Big Book for all.whipping post wrote:This makes me wonder do any of you refer your sponsees to clergy for their fifth step? I see Paige does for crimes. What about for the whole fifth step in general. It seems like I read a post before from someone that said they always refer their sponsees to clergy because they did not want the burden.
Niagara was wondering about feedback, the Big Book does say words to the effect that we must let the person know what we are doing and why, but I expect there would be little of the type of feedback a fellow alcoholic might give, a recovered alcoholic priest would be the ideal for me.Perhaps, though, your relation to him is such that you would care to reveal only a part of your story. If this is the situation, by all means do so, for you ought to make a beginning as soon as you can. It may turn out, however, that you'll choose someone else for the more difficult and deeper revelations. This individual may be entirely outside of A.A.—for example, your clergyman or your doctor.
If we cannot or would rather not do this, we search our acquaintance for a close-mouthed, understanding friend. Perhaps our doctor or psychologist will be the person.
-page 74 Alcoholics Anonymous
Thanks for posting this topic.Twenty Thirteen wrote:This lady made a confession to her sponsor, who ratted her out to the police.
It's a break of Traditions 11 and 12, if you ask me.
(Link deleted per forum policy)
Let me respond to your conclusions, Brock, and to make a few points. First, in the 3 cases, the 5th step did not go "wrong." In one case there wasn't even a 5th step. Nor was there a 5th step in the second case. There was a 5th step in the third case. Nothing wrong with that 5th step. The AA member told her sponsor that she had murdered a woman by shooting her in the head. Done. The sponsor said nothing to anyone else at that point. What went "wrong" was that this AA member told another AA, who wanted to help her with her 6th and 7th steps. That other AA did go to police fter he realized he had a moral and legal responsibility to do. Still, no problem with the 5th step.Brock wrote:
Earlier on in this thread, the full names of alcoholics who have been involved in cases where the 5th step went wrong were included. I think we should show a little more respect for their anonymity, it does not matter if these names are already “out there,” repeating something that is wrong is still wrong.
You've made some good points regarding the moral and legal responsibilities of AA members and I would agree that these points apply to the other two cases you cited but disagree regarding the first case. In that case, the sponsee went to her AA "appointed sponsor" (local custom?) after she had already lost custody of her children to her ex-husband in a divorce court hearing 10 days earlier due to the incident she described to her sponsor and she was merely coming clean with her sponsor. The minor children had already been removed from her home, the sponsee was already attending sex addiction therapy sessions at her church to get help with her problem, there was no child endangerment issue involved, and the testimony recorded in the divorce court custody proceeding was sealed by court order. In this particular case, the sponsee's behavior had already been dealt with via judicial proceedings and the sponsor had no moral or legal obligation to betray her sponsee's confidential disclosures. In fact, this particular sponsor's reckless disregard for the judge's court order sealing the custody hearing testimony may earn the sponsor a night in jail for contempt of court.ODAAT wrote:
If you think about it deeply, Brock, you will conclude that the best possible outcome was achieved in all three cited cases--AA, and its members comported themselves morally and legally in two brutal murder cases and one that involved endangerment to children...
PaigeB wrote:I advise my sponsees that if they have committed crimes that they share THAT info with a lawyer or a religious leader.
I can be subpoenaed to testify in court, as ODAAT said, because I have no legal privilege. They can give me the short story by doing their own connection to the defects & fears which usually present themselves in patterns.